Everything that moves forward eventually comes to a standstill. This is due to the frictional force. In order for something to come to a standstill faster, you increase the frictional force. A bicycle brake is a device that can be used to slow down the travel of a bicycle.
Without good brakes on the bike, speed isn't worth much. Only with the right bicycle brakes do you have control and driving dynamics are created.
It used to be difficult to stop the bike, especially when it was wet. Today, thanks to modern brakes, this is no longer a problem.
Which bike brake is best for you now depends on a number of factors, such as the mounts on the frame and fork. Below we have compiled a small checklist of points that you should pay attention to when choosing a bicycle.
Checklist for a good bike
For the proper technical functioning of a bicycle, some checks of the following parts are required:
- tire pressure
- wearing parts
- bicycle chain
- bicycle brake
- bike lock
However, no other component is as important for driving safety as the brakes.
In addition, every bicycle in Germany must be equipped with two independently acting brakes. This is a prerequisite for participating in road traffic.
The following applies in particular to every bicycle brake: brake pads, brake discs and rims are wearing parts that must be checked and replaced regularly in order to keep the performance of your bicycle constant.
What types of bicycle brakes are there?
The first bicycles were driven directly with a crank on the front wheel and could be braked accordingly with the crank. In the meantime, a large number of different types of bicycle brakes have emerged.
In general, a distinction is made between disc brakes, rim brakes, or other older types of brakes.
Rim brakes can be found on all types of bicycles. They are easy to set up, lightweight and inexpensive. The rim brake is operated by a brake lever and the brake is applied to the rim. This type of brake is used on trekking and racing bikes.
The disc brake is also operated by the brake lever, but the brake is applied to a special disc that is attached to the wheel axle and rotates with the wheel.
A distinction is also made here between a mechanical and hydraulic disc brake.
These are used on mountain bikes and higher quality trekking bikes.
More bike brake types
Now there are other older or more special types of brakes such as:
The coaster brake is outdated as a classic among today's bicycle brakes. The coaster brake is located inside the rear hub and therefore only brakes the rear wheel. It works regardless of the weather because it is in the hub shell and it requires little maintenance.
Drum brake and roller brake
Trolley and roller brakes are special types of brakes that are similar in structure to coaster brakes. They work perfectly in the weather and do not require maintenance too often. However, neither the drum brake nor the roller brake is very effective on uneven paths.
The stamp brake is a very outdated bicycle brake that uses a rubber brake pad pressed against the front tire. The braking effect is minimal and depends on the air pressure of the bicycle tire and the weather.
Tips for braking
We have put together a small list of tips below that you should bear in mind when using the bicycle brake, whether old or new:
- Slow down with both brakes
- Carefully try out new brakes away from traffic
- Apply front brake harder due to greater weight transfer and braking effect
- Replace brake pads regularly
- Check rim wear regularly
- Grease and replace brake cables regularly
- Apply the brakes alternately on steep downhill gradients
These tips for braking not only ensure a long-lasting bicycle brake, but above all safety in traffic.
What is the best bicycle brake?
As a result, both systems, rim and disc brakes, can offer good braking performance in dry conditions. However, disc brakes are superior to rim brakes in terms of maximum power and controllability, especially in wet conditions.
The best bike brake therefore ultimately depends on your bike type and usage.
Would you like to find out more about practical bicycle accessories?
Find out now which bike lock is right for you
Each lock variant offers its individual advantages and disadvantages. A comprehensive overview that compares the security, comfort and price of all types of bicycle locks can be found in the guide to bicycle locks.